Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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The Artist’s Way Week 2 Check-In: Just Do It

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I have reached the point in reading the book where, in my past attempts at it, I was tempted to slam shut the cover or pitch it across the room. It is not because of what the author writes, it is how she writes. Chapter 2 is titled “Recovering a Sense of Identity,” and opens with this: “This week addresses self-definition as a major component of creative recovery. You may find yourself drawing new boundaries and staking out new territories as your personal needs, desires, and interests announce themselves. The essays and tools are aimed at moving you into your personal identity, a self-defined you.” (Cameron, 41)

The problem is that it doesn’t– or at least I’m not seeing this in the text. Oh, there is useful, insightful material on writers’ block, “poison playmates, ” “crazymakers,” and other hindrances to the creative process, but if these issues serve to help us self-identify as creatives, then the author did not do a good job in bringing her arguments back to support her thesis. If I were my high school English teacher, this chapter would have gone back to the author with red comments and a request to rewrite it.

But this post is not a book review. It is a review of my progress in developing a healthy identity as a creative person. So to that end, this past week I created my own task list. This week I simply did what writers do. I engaged in activities that made me write, prepare to write or edit what I did write.

I dug back into my files and pulled out storylines and character profiles I had started and then abandoned. I set up both computer and physical project notebooks for my research and development. I also wrote several short blog posts this week.

Yes, I did stick to the program inasmuch as I did my morning pages every day, went on an artist date (see the post on setting up my creative corner) and by reviewing and writing out creative affirmations.

I can give the author some credit: since I started the program a couple of weeks ago I have seen some movement and breakup of creative blockages,. However, I wonder if this has as much to do with my own work and commitment to my creative recovery. We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’m just going to do it!


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A Tour of my Creative Corner

Chapter 2 of The Artist Way deals with recovering a sense of identity and the drawing and reinforcing of boundaries around that identity. I think this was put into action in my second artist date.

My date last night consisted of spending a few hours tidying up and re-organizing the corner of my bedroom that serves as my office/studio.   Recently, I have been writing and blogging in my living room or spreading out a canvas in front of the television and making art there. In this second week of the program, I already sense that I was not giving my writer/artist identity enough respect, and by re-organizing my “creative corner “I am re-dedicating and sanctifying it as place to my writing and art.   I will return to creating in this space with as little distraction as possible.   Below, through the images, I’d like to take you on a little tour of that space.

Before I do that, I would like to note one curious thing.  I noticed that the books on the shelves are a weird, eclectic mix of topics:  Poetry, art techniques, writing, feminine spirituality, energy medicine, holistic health and Chinese medicine, and on the very bottom shelf behind my journaling supplies are books from my childhood and youth.  And to confuse things even more, there are some odd books on household management, belly dance, drumming, and geography thrown into the mix.  The books and their ordering reflect those areas that inform my identity as a creative person, with the bottom shelf the foundation in my childhood of many influential interests.  If this bookcase was an art installation piece I would entitle it “Self Portrait in a Three-D Literary Experience.”

Without further delay, here is my creative corner:

The Writing Chair

The Writing Chair

Japanese print split curtain to hide plastic bins

Japanese print split curtain to hide plastic bins in the corner

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Mixed media supplies within easy reach

Journals and journaling supplies

Journals and journaling supplies

ljg (c) 2017


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Starting The Artist’s Way, Again

homegirl cafe angelas green potionI was gliding across the blogo-vlogosphere this weekend and I noticed a large number of Creatives are engaging in The Artist’s Way program and posting their reflections and insights on their social media platforms.   (For those readers not familiar with the book/program, please click here for a quick explanation.)

I have attempted to do the program several times,  but I always got bogged down by the author’s meandering and unfocused writing style and would eventually give up the reading.   However, the tools the author insists that Creatives follow in overcoming their expressive blocks and reclaiming the inner Artist have been amazingly useful.   One tool consists of writing “morning pages”, three pages of long hand writing done every morning upon waking.  Even if one is not a writer, this journaling activity helps the Creative break up and move through blockages.     Another tool is the Artist’s Date, a regular activity to stimulate and refresh the creative output.

I was so inspired by what others have been doing with the program that I decided to give it another go.  I went on an Artist’s Date this weekend (see the previous post) and this morning I did Morning Pages writing.    I will try to do the readings and I intend to post my Check-ins each week here.

I don’t have the courage and lack of vulnerability to vlog about my experience, so I will stick to writing about them here.  However, I will enjoy other Creatives’ vlogs, such as this one by Burgess  Taylor.

Later….

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